It’s spring break while I’m writing this, and if you couldn’t tell by my last couple blog posts, I’m getting in Summer mode over here! I like to start preparing for a new season well ahead of time so that, when it actually arrives, I can relax a little and I feel more prepared. I like feeling prepared! I also like staying out of the stores more during the summer, because it’s filled with cranky kids and grumpy parents, and I just want to be out on my porch watching the kids play, or going to the beach, and I love knowing I’m almost always ready to have friends over for burgers in the back yard!
The best way I can feel more prepared for the summer is by stocking up my shelves starting in the Spring! Here are my essentials that I always like to have on hand through the hot summer days!
- Pop Ice freezer pops! These are cheap, the kids can help themselves, and they taste pretty good! You can find them at Walmart for around $4 for a box of 80. I usually get them from Sam’s Club, but they aren’t showing up in my search right now. I’m hoping they come out soon, that’s usually the best price at $7-ish for a couple hundred.
- I like to have lots of beef patties on hand! You can buy them pre-made. I prefer to find ground beef on sale and buy our own seasonings and pick an afternoon and make a bunch and freeze them. Freeze them in a single layer on wax paper and once they are frozen put them in ziploc bags and you’ll always be ready to make the exact amount of patties that you need seasoned just how you like. You can put them right on the grill frozen too!
- Hot dogs, buns and all of your grilling essentials! I keep quite a few cans of baked beans and pickles and condiments on hand. We also like to stock up on chips, usually the only thing we have to buy more often is the fresh ingredients.
- Stock up on some pre-made freezer meals. Of course I like to make my own (I mean what would you expect from someone who has a website dedicated to running the home?!) Pretty much any meals that you would normally bake can go in the crock pot. Who wants to heat up the house on a 100 degree Fahrenheit day?! I know I don’t! Especially in a home that doesn’t have central air! So, on the days where it’s too hot to cook, and my husband can’t run the grill, I’m prepared with something I can just throw in the crock pot and keep my house as cool as I can, and still have a good homemade meal ready to go!
- You can also use the above tip for baked goods. Know that you’ll be needing a few cakes this summer? Make a few ahead of time and put them in the freezer, or have bunches of muffins ready to go for easy breakfasts with out having to heat the house up!
- Stock up on sunscreen and insect repellent! These usually aren’t good after a year of use, and every one needs at least one of these! I like to buy mine in bulk so that I can keep one in my purse, in the car (trunk or somewhere where it won’t get too warm), one for the house, and one for the diaper bag!
- Stock up on snacks, fruit snacks (shut the hell up bags!), granola bars, whatever you and the kids like to snack on that you can buy in bulk, stock up!
- T.P. The kids will be home more, you’ll probably have some house guests. No brainier. No one likes to be caught without toilet paper!
- First aid supplies! All those trips to the park and splash pad, bike riding and nature walks, someone is bound to slip and fall and skin their knee. Stock up on band aids, Neosporin, coconut oil, whatever your family likes to use for boo boos.
- Stock up the bar for summer too! I don’t drink much, but I’m always sure to grab the few things I need for my favorite summer cocktails, and it’s nice to have some cold beer for friends too!
By stocking up on your most used summer items you make more room for fun, you don’t have to worry about running out of things each week, or getting caught off guard. You have the time to shop sales, and by staying out of the store as much as possible this summer, you’ll have more opportunity to save money! The kids will probably be home more, and their friends right along with them. With all of the extra kids begging for snacks and second breakfast, you’ll be happy that you prepared ahead of time! It’s less time you have to spend planning every shopping trip through the summer, as a simple glance in the pantry can tell you what you need more of. This is also less time dragging a bunch of kids to the store, less time in the store and not having to bring the kids with you all the time are two very big reasons you can save money by stocking up early!
What are your main summer essentials?! What are you favorite summer meals that won’t heat the house up too much, and most importantly, what’s your favorite summer cocktail?! Please share!
Until next time friends!